Comedian, Actress & Activist
Maysoon Zayid is an actress, professional standup comedian and writer.
Arab American Comedy
She received a BA in Acting from Arizona State University and is the co-founder/co-executive producer of the New York Arab American Comedy Festival. Maysoon was a full-time On-Air Contributor to Countdown with Keith Olbermann and has recently appeared on The Queen Latifah Show and Huffington Post Live. Maysoon is a recurring columnist at The Daily Beast and was a speaker at TEDWomen 2013.
Maysoon has appeared on Comedy Central, PBS, CNN, HBO, MTV, ABC, BBC and had a feature role in Adam Sandler’s You Don’t Mess With the Zohan.
As a professional comedian, Maysoon has performed in top New York clubs and has toured extensively at home and abroad. She was a headliner on the Arabs Gone Wild Comedy Tour and The Muslims Are Coming Tour.
Maysoon’s screenplay, LAW, was chosen for the Sundance Middle Eastern Screenwriters Lab. She was a delegate at the 2008 Democratic National Convention and named one of 21 leaders of the 21st century by Women’s Enews. She is the founder of Maysoon’s Kids, an education and wellness program for disabled and wounded refugee children. Maysoon was delighted to be a 2013 honoree of United Cerebral Palsy of NYC’s Women Who Care Awards and currently sits on the planning committee.
Find Another Dream
The daughter of Palestinian immigrants, as a child Maysoon Zayid dreamed of one day dancing on Broadway. As a teen, a bubble-bursting choreographer told her to “find another dream”, so she set her sights on becoming a soap star, undeterred by the fact that the odds were against her. While chasing fame, Maysoon found her voice in stand-up comedy, performing in multiple languages in sold-out shows all over the world. In this talk, Maysoon tells tales of family, friendship, love, and career as she takes audiences on a hilarious, poignant journey of failures and successes. She inspires audiences to chase their dreams, ignore the doubters, and defy the odds.
If I Cancan, You Cancan (DEI)
This extended version of Maysoon’s viral TED Talk takes listeners on her crooked journey as a multiple minority, dreaming big, and spinning failure into laughter. The comedian, writer, and disability advocate makes DEI fun, easy, and hilarious. As a multiple minority, she has learned the keys to creating a more inclusive and more productive environment. Maysoon will share her expertise and give the audience advice they do not want to hear but definitely need to.
Disability and healthcare go together like peanut butter and jelly, including the peanut allergy. Maysoon, who has Cerebral Palsy, deftly tackles the relationship between patient and provider, using her perspective as a life-long patient. In her most recent dalliance, she was paralyzed from her nose to her toes and had to learn to walk again. She will bring a laugh to your bored conference audience while creating a new understanding of the ever-changing healthcare landscape.
No Books Found
The Middle Eastern Leadership Council at the University of Virginia would like to thank Maysoon for helping us conclude our Middle Eastern Cultural Month with such an amazing event. There was a great diverse turnout and all those who attended really enjoyed Maysoon's performance. Maysoon was so easy-going, hilarious, and well-spoken. We hope Maysoon enjoyed her visit to UVA as much as we enjoyed having her!
- | Middle Eastern Leadership Council - University of Virginia
On behalf of the APC team and all of the attendees, we want to express our sincere appreciation for your terrific keynote presentation. We felt it was our most successful conference to date! The audience LOVED you! You connected with the audience the minute you walked onstage and held their attention the entire presentation. Not only did you deliver humor they all enjoyed, but you served as a source of inspiration and motivation. A standing ovation says it all, and you received a rousing one. Also, thank you for staying and talking to so many attendees after your keynote. You certainly were the PERFECT choice for our conference!
- | Administration Professionals Conference